Updated: May 17
Let's face it. "Communications Coordinator" at most Catholic parishes is a title that encompasses way too many responsibilities, whether by choice or not. Beyond being exceptional writers and marketers, they're roped into being the church's main designers, technology support, social media marketers, photographers, videographers, etc. etc. It can get overwhelming.
There is plenty of evidence that excellent visual craft generally pays off in the end, but how can a Communications Coordinator possibly have good visuals if the person only has a degree in Writing? I have a few tips! For the next few blogs, I will be writing about "big" and "small" tips to improve various visual arts, starting with graphic design.
Graphic design has become more and more important over the years. Churches and dioceses are realizing this and allocating more resources to achieve awesome branding, website, and social media design. Just check out what the Diocese of Detroit and this Catholic Agency are doing! So what is a busy communications coordinator to do if he or she still wants to have good design? Here are three "big" tips to achieve good design, tips if there is a little time and money available.
Tip 1: Take some classes
There are more and more places to learn graphic design. Of course, the traditional route is a four-year degree, which means endless hours of studying and thousands of dollars spent. However, there are a growing number of resources to learn the craft for low or no cost! Consistently watching a 20 minute video once a week can vastly improve design skills. Hubspot Social Media Marketing course and The Futur are free resources well worth looking into.
Tip 2: Invest in good branding
Heard the saying, "You get what you pay for"? Identity design is more than logos. It's fonts, colors, photography style, packaging, and more. This is called an identity system. Graphic designers and agencies are experts and designing beautiful and fool-proof identity systems. There are bound to be connections to designers and agencies in your parish who might be willing to help with branding at low or no cost.
Tip 3: Hire a designer onto the team
Hiring a designer, even for a few hours a week can work wonders for a campaign, especially if the designer knows what he or she is doing. With an additional team member, there's less pressure on the communications coordinator. Not enough money in the budget? Offer a volunteer internship! There are always students looking to gain experience. Schools often require it for graduation and students know having one looks incredibly good on a resume.
It's important and possible to have good design! While these tips may need more time, money, or brain-power, they are certainly better than spending thousands on a graphic design degree or not having good design at all.
What do you think? Let me know below!